PMC fails to recover ₹600 crore water dues: Audit report
The Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) audit report has passed strictures on water department for not recovering water meter dues from the citizens
The Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) audit report has passed strictures on water department for not recovering water meter dues from the citizens.
The dues, according to PMC officials, have reached up to ₹600 crore since 2017-18 onwards till July 2022.
The PMC last week published an audit report of 2017-18 for water department. In that report, the audit department has criticised the water department for not recovering dues of water meters. According to report, the recovery ratio is just 15.52 per cent till 2017-18 and at that time the dues were ₹495.95 crore.
PMC water department officer Nandkumar Jagtap said, “It is true that the dues for water meters are increasing. Total water meter dues has reached up to ₹600 crore till date. PMC is carrying out a special drive to recover it.”
These water meters were installed mostly at commercial establishments before 24x7 equitable water supply scheme, which is currently underway in Pune, said PMC officials.
Jagtap said, “There are various issues as old water meters were not functioning. Some citizens objected to the extra charges. Some meters are under Khadki and Pune Cantonment areas. Now, the civic body is executing the 24x7 water scheme, under which, the PMC has initiated a process of replacing old water meters and recovering dues from the citizens.”
Till the year 2018, PMC had 38,918 water meter users across the city. Now under 24x7 water scheme, PMC has planned to install the 100 per cent water meters in all properties except slums.
Under 24x7 scheme the installation of water meters started three years ago with 60,000 water meters having been installed across the city thus far, although the same has been delayed by a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to PMC officials.
The installation of water meters has seen 20% opposition from various housing societies and bungalow owners. “We feel the water bill will rise substantially once PMC starts measuring water supply through meter at home. Also, how is PMC going to count each flat’s water consumption is another issue,” said Avinash Deshpande, Sahakarnagar resident.
Earlier in July, PMC issued notices to nearly 30 homes across Alandi road, Dhayari and Sinhagad road for bypassing newly-installed water meters as part of the water audit conducted by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) for its ambitious 24 x 7 water supply project. The installation of water meters has seen 20% opposition from various housing societies and bungalow owners.